Various Authors noon, Jan. 19
Writers at North County Times say their goodbyes before Lynch and Manchester takeover
Doug Manchester and John Lynch haven't even closed on their purchase of the North County Times and yet a number of writers are saying their goodbyes over concerns that the integrity of the paper will suffer from the new ownership.
Despite having written more than 650 pieces over 14 years for the North County Times, longtime radio columnist Randy Dotinga bid farewell to readers in a September 27 column.
"Businesses don't need positive coverage. They need accurate coverage. Along those lines, I'd like to continue providing accurate coverage of the U-T for Voice of San Diego."
Dotinga doubts that he would have made the cut anyway, considering how his last exchange with U-T's CEO went for a story on the U-T's illegal auto museum.
"I certainly wouldn't have lasted long at the U-T-owned North County Times. After all, Lynch told me to 'get a life' just a few weeks ago. I like being able to still say "'he's not the boss of me.'"
But Dotinga isn't the only North County Times scribe saying their goodbye.
Editorial writer Richard Riehl, writer of the "The Riehl World" column, has also written the paper off. In his last column, which was later rejected by editor Kent Davy, Riehl ripped into Manchester for carrying "front page editorials advancing his conservative political agenda."
"After being able to rant on this page for nine years, often at odds with editorial board positions, my homework assignments for the NCT end with this, my last column. I made that decision after learning the newspaper had been sold. Not that the new owners would have welcomed my prickly presence on their opinion pages.
In a KPBS interview on September 11 Doug Manchester said he hadn’t yet decided on the “brand” of the North County Times. But he left little doubt it will be a virtual clone of UT San Diego, given his primary goal to “salute what’s right and good about San Diego,” with a special pro-military, pro-business, and pro-Padres and Chargers focus.
"I’ll be rooting from the sidelines for the survival of NCT’s journalistic integrity, but I’m not holding my breath.”
Riehl later posted the column on news blog, "Carlsbadistan" as well as Davy's response.
"Richard: I am not willing to let you tee off on Manchester this way," wrote Davy. "There are people here who will have to work for him even if you don’t.”
The exact number of reporters and staffers leaving their posts, as reported by Don Bauder in an earlier article, won't be known until after the transition is complete.
Here are a few related stories on Lynch and the U-T: